Belleville Advances in Calder Cup Playoffs

For the first time in Belleville history, the Senators have advanced in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

Belleville Advances in Calder Cup Playoffs

In my primer last week, my prediction was that the Belleville Senators would take down the Toronto Marlies, but it would be a close battle requiring all three games. I'd say a three game series that required overtime in two of three games would be defined as a close battle, yes?

I love being right.

For the first time since the B in BSens stood for Belleville, the Senators have won a playoff round and will be heading into the division semifinals against the Cleveland Monsters. Keep your eyes on Silver Seven on Wednesday, I'll have a series primer up in time for your lunch break.

As for this series, what went down and how did we get here?

On Wednesday evening, the BSens took a 1-0 series win with a 3-1 victory at home against Toronto. The game started on a less-than-ideal note when Toronto's Marshall Rifai opened the scoring just three and a half minutes in. It was up to Belleville to tighten up their laces and stick with it, as many teams could have been completely deflated after an early opening goal in a playoff game. Fortunately, Belleville was up to the task, thanks to goals by Zack Ostapchuk, Tyler Kleven and Josh Currie. The first two goals of Belleville's game were particularly pretty.

On Saturday, Toronto made this a series by defeating Belleville 4-3 in overtime, courtesy of an odd bounce that fooled Mads Søgaard and found the back of the net just 50 seconds into extra time. The additional dagger here was that it was former Senator Dylan Gambrell who would spoil Belleville's attempt at a sweep.

It was during Sunday's matinee that we got to see Belleville secure their first playoff series win, with another 4-3 game decided in overtime. This time, of course, it was the good guys scoring beyond regulation.

Boko Imama was the one to get things going early in the first period. The two teams exchanged goals in this extremely tight matchup until it was 3-2 Belleville over halfway through the third period. With the game on the line, Matteo Pietroniro put the Marlies on his back and evened things up, forcing overtime.

It was in overtime that Garrett Pilon called game, cleaning up a soft rebound and punching Belleville's ticket to round two.

In this series, there are a number of players to call out for solid performances but Pilon leads the list. After signing as a free agent with the Senators last summer, it was Pilon's playoff pedigree and Calder Cup championship ring that made him an intriguing addition to the roster. In this three game series, the 26 year old forward put up three goals and an assist - including, of course, the game winner to take the series itself. Talk about clutch.

Other players to mention are Josh Currie (2G, 1A), Jacob Larsson (3A), Tyler Kleven (1G, 1A) and Stephen Halliday (2A).

In net, Søgaard had a stunning performance in game one but didn't stop everything he needed to in the final two games of the series. Going from opening the series with a .944 performance to back-to-back .857's isn't the best look for the Great Dane™ but he did make some ten bell saves and kept his team in it when he needed to. He'll get an opportunity to steal a game or two coming up against Cleveland.

Starting Wednesday, Belleville will take on the Cleveland Monsters for an opportunity to move on to the division championship.

While Cleveland did win the division in the regular season, they finished just six points ahead of Belleville. The Senators are technically the underdogs but don't count them out, anything can happen in a five game series.

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